Step 1: Start by disconnecting the negative battery terminal. You want to make sure there is no charge traveling through the electrical components. This prevents damage to your car and you. Move the cable aside so it cannot make contact with anything metal. If needed, you can wrap it in tape or a plastic bag to prevent making contact.
Step 2: Next we remove the drive belt. You have to relieve the tension on the belt to remove it from the pulleys. For an idler pulley that attaches to your alternator, you will need to remove the bolt attaching the pulley to the alternator. Then push the alternator down to relieve the tension on the belt If the alternator is hard to move there may be a place to insert the breaker bar to give you leverage. If the pulley attaches to your engine block, you need to loosen the pulley bolt from the engine block and push the pulley back to relieve tension on the drive belt.
*DIY Mechanic’s Note*: Might as well replace the drive or serpentine belt since you have it off. That way you know you have two good new components in the system.
Step 3: Now we remove the old pulley. Push the belt out of the way and remove the retaining bolt. Pull the pulley out. New pulleys typically do not come with hardware so keep any gaskets, bolts, and other hardware that come off with the pulley. Install the new pulley using the old hardware in the exact same order. If the old hardware is damaged, it’s best to buy all new hardware but make sure you get the right size replacements.
*DIY Mechanic’s Note*: When removing the pulley (or any parts from your car) lay them out in the order you took them off and replace them in that same order. This ensures that everything goes on the right way and prevents you from having to do it all over again.
Step 4: Let’s install the new pulley. It’s best to compare the new pulley to the old, now. This step just reconfirms that you ordered the correct idler pulley from Partshawk.com. Using the existing hardware from the bad pulley.
*DIY Mechanic’s Note*: Be sure to assemble and install the new pulley and hardware in the order in which laid them out when you took them off. (See previous DIY Mechanic’s Note)
Step 5: Tighten the new pulley. Use the torque wrench to tighten the pulley bolt to the manufacturer’s recommended torque. It’s usually about 40 ft/lb. You just set the wrench to 40 ft/lb. When you hit that torque on the bolt the handle will turn but it will click. This means the required torque was achieved.
Step 6: Place the drive belt back on the pulleys in the same pattern it was removed. If you had to move the alternator or anything to relieve tension on the belt, make sure you move it back into position, once you have placed the belt. This puts tension back on the belt. Without tension, the pulley system will not function.
Step 7: Replace the negative battery cable and tighten the cable bolt
Now start the car up and witness the quiet that is your engine.